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Wheat rust pathologist Maricelis Acevedo to speak in Washington on E. Africa nurseries

February 4, 2016


AcevedoWHAT: Maricelis Acevedo, assistant professor and wheat rust pathologist at North Dakota State University (NDSU), to speak at “Pathogens Without Borders” session, leading a discussion
titled “Field Nurseries in East Africa: Promoting International Collaborations and Training” at  the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2016 Annual Meeting.

Acevedo will be available for media interviews.

The session explores disease resistance and yield protection to achieve food security, covering research methods, international collaborations and agriculture scientist training by examining the International Stem Rust Screening Nurseries in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The stem rust screening Nurseries in Kenya and Ethiopia  were established by Nobel Peace Prize laureate  Norman Borlaug, former director of the  Global Wheat Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), in an effort to counter the spread of wheat stem rust in east and southern Africa. Wheat disease epidemics have a significant impact on food security, especially in areas where crops are grown under marginal conditions. The international screening nurseries are a center of scientific discoveries, serve as melting pots for ideas, birthplaces of new wheat varieties and collaboration outlets and classrooms for scientists. Results from the international nurseries, currently helmed by CIMMYT’s Sridhar Bhavani,  have demonstrated that greater advances can occur when scientific communities across disciplines and institutions work as one cohesive unit instead of as individuals.

WHEN: Sunday, February 14, 2016: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Marshall Ballroom East, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008

ABOUT AAAS: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is a U.S. international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists and advancing science for the benefit of all people.


Q+A: Kenya farmers use range of tactics to fight stem rust disease

Wheat farmers in Kenya battle new race of stem rust disease

Global conference underscores complex socio-economic role of wheat


Maricelis Acevedo received a master’s degree in agronomy in the area of plant breeding from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in biology with a specialization in plant breeding from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received postdoctoral training at the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Research Service, Small Grains and Potato Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho working on the genetics of partial resistance to crown rust of oats and the identification and characterization of resistance to the highly virulent stem rust race Ug99 in spring wheat landraces.

Acevedo has worked as assistant professor in the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology at NDSU since 2010. Her research involves rust-pathogen virulence evolution and utilization of host resistance to manage cereal rusts. Her basic research emphasizes the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying rust pathogen virulence and host resistance. Her applied research focuses on the genetics of resistance to leaf and stem rust in wheat.

Follow her on Twitter @MaricelisAceve1

MORE INFORMATION: Contact Julie Mollins, CIMMYT communications, by email at j.mollins@cgiar.org, by mobile at +52 1 595 106 9307, by Twitter @jmollins or by Skype at juliemollins; Genevieve Renard, head of CIMMYT communications, at g.renard@cgiar.org or  +52 1 595 114 9880 or @genevrenard


CIMMYT, headquartered in El Batan, Mexico, is the global leader in research for development in wheat and maize and wheat- and maize-based farming systems. CIMMYT works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to improve food security and livelihoods. CIMMYT is a member of the 15-member CGIAR Consortium and leads the Consortium Research Programs on Wheat and Maize. CIMMYT receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.